Titan of takeovers

Written on the 15 September 2009

Brisbane’s largest law firm McCullough Robertson Lawyers oversaw the biggest on market corporate takeover in Australia’s history last year, but despite an optimistic outlook, chairman Brett Heading will be surprised if the firm’s revenue grows at all in 09/10.

BRISBANE’S largest law firm McCullough Robertson Lawyers oversaw the biggest on market corporate takeover in Australia’s history last year, but despite an optimistic outlook, chairman Brett Heading will be surprised if the firm’s revenue grows at all in 09/10.

“I anticipate it being a tough year. With the boom time big ticket jobs there just aren’t as many as there used to be, that’s the reality of it,” says Heading.

“I have a simple philosophy that the key to success is to give good advice quickly by interested and interesting lawyers – in difficult times you need good industry knowledge and to offer proactive advice in what is undoubtedly the most testing time since the 89 recession.”

McCullough Robertson’s revenue grew by 4 per cent last financial year to $74 million, representing the smallest increase in 10 years, despite several mergers and acquisitions, successful capital raisings, as well as a strong presence in tax law and agribusiness.
“We acted for Queensland Gas in their expansion phase and oversaw the takeover with British Gas, which was the largest on market takeover in Australian history,” says Heading.

“We advised Whitehaven Coal in their proposed reverse takeover of Gloucester Coal, Wilson HTM’s acquisition of Next Financial and GBST Holdings’ acquisition of Coexis Limited.

“We’ve acted for a number of companies in significant capital raisings. There was Macarthur Coal for $190 million, Ausenco for $90 million, Panaust raised $322 million, as well as a swag of small companies in the life sciences area.”

Heading says the company has been involved in the full gamut of agribusiness as well and has been very prominent in the business community, with a strong emphasis on corporate social responsibility.

“We’re full service so we do everything other than criminal and family law. We have a very strong revenue group and without doubt the largest group in Queensland that deals with tax duty and income tax – I’d be surprised if we’re not the largest one on the east coast,” he says.

“We’ve been around a long time – we were founded in 1926 and we’re the largest firm in Queensland. We operate in a number of key areas for the Brisbane and Queensland economy and we also have a strong community outlook with our pro bono practice and community programs.”

McCullough Robertson has 372 staff and while the firm pre-empted the downturn with a hiring freeze in May last year, Heading remains cogniscent of recognising and rewarding talented employees.

“And we’ve got the quality partners to show for it – whilst we are treading carefully and I think most businesses will be, we’re confident in our outlook,” he says.

“Natural attrition has reduced our numbers and we’ve had 10 redundancies, so through a combination of admin staff and a few lawyers our numbers have declined by about 40.”


Latest News

1700 BRISBANE APARTMENTS NOW MANAGED BY FORTUNE 500 COMPANY JLL

MULTINATIONAL and Fortune 500 company JLL (NYSE: JLL) has expanded its Australian dominance in the property managemen...

HARVEY NORMAN HITS OUT AT 'FALSE NEWS' OF ASIC INVESTIGATION

RETAIL giant Harvey Norman (ASX: HVN) has vehemently rejected reports its accounts are under investigation by ASIC, s...

RARE GOOD NEWS FOR SLATER AND GORDON AS ASIC CLOSES INVESTIGATION

ASIC has cleared Slater and Gordon of deliberately falsifying its accounts after a three-month investigation.

It s...

Q & A WITH FACEBOOK GURU ANDY MCKEON AS HE JOINS AUSTRALIAN SOFTWARE COMPANY LIVETILES

HE was creative director at Apple under the legendary Steve Jobs, and is now a senior Facebook executive. In his n...

Related News

RAY OF HOPE FOR SLATER AND GORDON AS LENDERS STEP IN

EMBATTLED law firm Slater and Gordon (ASX: SGH) has announced to the ASX that it has launched confidential discussion...

SPROUTX PROVIDES THE SEED FOR AGTECH STARTUPS

AGTECH innovation fund SproutX has opened applications for its first accelerator round, backed by $10 million from...

GAS PRICES MAY FORCE BRICKWORKS TO TAKE MANUFACTURING OVERSEAS

BRICKWORKS Limited (ASX:BKW) chairman Robert Millner says soaring energy prices may force the company to turn to offs...

CHINA CONTINUES TO COLLECT AUSSIE PROPERTY ASSETS

CHINESE coin continues to dominate Australia's offshore real estate investment market, accounting for almost h...

EVENTS COMING UP

 

Contact us

Email News Update Sign Up Contact Details
Subscriptions

PO Box 2087
Brisbane QLD 4001

LoginTell a FriendSign Up to Newsletter